There is no question that pets are part of the family, and they actually help improve the mental and physical health of their human companions. To the end, it’s important that we take care of our pets and put them on the best path to wellness just like we take care of our other family members.
From proper nutrition and exercise to regular vet checkups and socialization, there are numerous ways to ensure your pet is healthy. Research shows that consumers are spending more money on their pets’ food than ever before, with the sole aim to keep them healthy and happy. One of the best ways to do this is by giving your pet a well-balanced diet and ensuring they have all the essential nutrients they need.
Omega-3 fatty acids have wide-ranging positive effects for pet health and choosing a pet food that contains omega-3 is the first step you can take to ensure your pet can benefit from this important nutrient on a regular basis. Omega-3s have many health benefits for pets, but not all omega-3 options are the same. Knowing the differences between various omega-3 sources and choosing the right one is important.
Not all omega-3s are created equal
Every pet food formula contains fats, which amongst others should provide a balanced combination of the essential omega-6s and omega-3s. There are several sources available that can be added to provide pets with omega-3 fatty acids and these sources are all delivered into your pet’s body in different ways. For example, krill provides EPA and DHA mainly in the form of phospholipids and since phospholipids are structurally different than omega-3 triglycerides (found in fish and algae), this difference dictates how EPA and DHA enters into the body.
Plant-based omega-3s in the form of ALA will have to be converted to EPA and DHA to result in the same health benefits. However, the conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA is poor in pets, and less that 10% will convert to these vital fatty acids. Hence, marine omega-3s are more effective that plant-based omega-3s.
Phospholipids vs. other omega-3 delivery formats
Phospholipid omega-3s are easy for a pet’s body to transport and incorporate into cell membranes in tissues and vital organs where they are needed the most. On the contrary, other sources of omega-3s in triglyceride form must be re-built into phospholipids before they can be taken up by the pet’s cells. The triglycerides are also more prone to be used as energy or fat storage, and vital omega-3s can therefore be lost instead of ending up in the cells where they affect health.
Most of the omega-3s in Antarctic krill are bound to phospholipids. Unlike triglycerides, phospholipids are water-soluble. This distinctive feature of phospholipids omega-3s let them move in a different way in the body than triglycerides and are therefore more effectively integrated into cell membranes This allows the pet to take advantage of the health benefits of these essential fatty acids in a more efficient way.
The Phospholipid Advantage
Krill are tiny crustaceans that are present in all oceans, holding a vital position in the marine food chain. Antarctic krill is a superior source of marine omega-3s, with a distinctive advantage when it comes to the form their omega-3s are made of. This is known as the phospholipid advantage.
Some refer to phospholipids as the “molecule of life”. Phospholipids are natural, integral parts of human and animal cells that help maintain the strength, flexibility, and integrity of cells and cell membranes. Recent studies have shown that the phospholipid-bound omega-3s from krill are more effective in raising omega-3 levels in a dog’s body compared to triglyceride-bound omega-3s, such as those found in fish oil.
A multitude of nutrients
While many of the nutritional needs in pet food have to be sourced through different ingredients, Antarctic krill offers multiple benefits. In addition to its phospholipid advantage, krill is also naturally rich in marine proteins, choline and astaxanthin. Choline is essential for a healthy liver and important for brain and muscle health. Another is the antioxidant astaxanthin, known as a natural protectant. Just like Vitamin E, it also helps to boost a pet’s immune system, but is actually 100 times more effective than vitamin E.
Sustainable ingredients for humans and pets alike
People take omega-3 supplements as part of their healthy lifestyle, but at the same time, it’s important to know that these supplements come from sustainable sources. The health of the planet is as important as, and naturally linked to, the health of an individual; the same thing can be said for our pets.
Sourcing marine ingredients from a supplier that values sustainability has become very important for many pet brand owners. More than ever, consumers and businesses alike care about the health of our oceans. Fishery in the Antarctic ocean is strongly regulated by catch quotas set by CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources). You should also ensure that the krill ingredient you chose is certified by the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).
The MSC certification ensures that the krill ingredient’s entire supply chain can be traced back to the location it originates from. This way you have the chance to be part of the entire journey of this unique ingredient.
QRILL Pet, a sustainable krill ingredient for optimal pet health
QRILL Pet, a brand of the biotech innovator and Antarctic krill-harvesting company Aker BioMarine, focuses on keeping pets healthy and happy. Made only from Antarctic krill, QRILL Pet delivers long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, marine proteins, choline, and the antioxidant astaxanthin. This unique functional marine ingredient also carries the highest-ranking sustainability certificate (MSC) on the market. To learn more, visit: qrillpet.com
If you want to know where you can find pet food brands with krill near you, then check this list here: https://www.qrillpet.com/petfood-brands-powered-by-qrill-pet